Heisman candidate No. 6: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
The only legitimate thing keeping Travis Etienne out of the Heisman Trophy rankings previously was the fact that the Clemson Tigers hadn’t needed him to shine in blowout victories. But as Virginia showed them a ton of fight in Week 5, the senior running back made a big statement that he is, without question, one of the most talented players in the entire country.
Etienne led the Tigers in both rushing and receiving on Saturday night, taking 14 carries for 73 yards and a touchdown and catching five balls for 114 yards and another touchdown. The veteran back now has 243 yards rushing on just 39 carries to go with two touchdowns and also has 172 receiving yards and a score as well. As his workload increases in the heart of ACC play, expect Etienne to be a mover up these rankings.
Heisman candidate No. 5: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
Kyle Pitts was expected to play a massive role in the Florida Gators offense this season, which stands to reason considering the matchup problems he creates with his combination of size and athleticism. But even with that, no one could have projected just how titanic his numbers would be through the first two games of the year as the Gators are off to a 2-0 start.
In a win over South Carolina, Pitts hauled in four catches for 57 yards but added another two touchdowns. That gives the tight end a daunting six touchdown receptions already on the season in addition to already topping 200 yards for the year.
Seeing a tight end in the Heisman Trophy race is not a common occurrence. But at the rate Pitts is producing and scoring right now, it’d be foolish to not have him in the top five.